This bottle is one of a distinctive group dated to the mid-Qing period that is made of white nephrite using only the natural russet-brown skin of the pebble as decoration. The raw material used for the bottles was cut from a fairly large boulder or pebble, since the curve of the boulder is surmised from the disposition of the russet skin.
The powerful abstract design that results from the combination of a pure white pebble with its own skin remains popular among connoisseurs. The skin on the present bottle has a sumptuous contrast of texture and color. See three very similar bottles, a pair from the collection of Edith Griswold, in L.S. Perry, Chinese Snuff Bottles. The Adventures & Studies of a Collector, p. 106, nos. 88-89, and another in The Au Hang Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles, p. 78, no. 98. A similar bottle formerly from the Meriem Collection was sold in these rooms, 19 September 2007, lot 654.